Three Blooms - Director Notes

Word for Word is celebrated for its meticulous style of activating words in a theatrical way, inspiring an audience to really lean forward, and drink-it-in with their eyes, ears and hearts. I've long admired the work, so it was of course an honor to be asked to collaborate and in such a full way. This production featured a lovely balance of WfW and UTB troupe members and guest actors and designers. Upon These Boards brought our "skill set" to the proceedings, providing the additional puppetry, live composition and animated-object work. In turn, each of the craftspeople and production crew worked tirelessly to create this world of character, form and place.

Amy Bloom's heartfelt fiction provided the theatrical flowers: a trilogy of stories which express the saga of a family's psychosis, taking us through three generations of a character's life - rattling open cellar doors, releasing surprising dust, disturbing the secret places in the heart, and ultimately reaching a near-apotheosis. The territory of Amy Bloom's stories maps-out an immigration west to chilly Manitoba and then a reverse-migration to the tony east of Connecticut.  Her pioneer family seem no less magnificent than the episodes in the canon of, say, Greek drama. Meeting the family - at either poolside or bedside - is a test, a trek. The interconnectedness and depth of the writing amazes, as the characters wink at one another between the story lines. 

We are all, perhaps, bound to our genetic code, the ignition which sparks us onwards - but can we cool the heat in deeply-felt pools of emotion?  Shall we, like the author, lay-it-all-out in ink & verbs?  This grand ensemble of actors and designers did just that: pursued an elevated goal, a sense of artistic mastery and a braintrust of undeniable daring, for which I was humbly grateful.

- Randall Stuart

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“I had a wonderful time reading Amy Bloom’s stories. They’re as fresh as paint, and full of surprises, and skill, and wit.”

- Alice Adams

“Ms. Bloom writes about passion: shameful, blissful and perverse. … Her voice is sure and brisk, her language often beautiful; the result is humorous as well as heartrending fiction. . . . Ms. Bloom is entertaining, wise and tolerant. Her work has the power both to disturb and to console.”

- New York Times Book Review

“A wonderful collection of stories by a writer of amazing skill, intelligence and compassion. Come to Me is a debut which leaves the reader begging for more.”

- Alice Hoffman

“I feel as though before discovering Amy Bloom, I was lost, and now I’m found.”

- Ruth Coughlin, Detroit News

“Amy Bloom writes about the young, the old, the mad, the sane, Jews, Catholics, whites, blacks, men, women, furriers, musicians, doctors, young mothers, people dying, people living — oh, does she ever write about people living! The point-of-view shifts are endlessly fascinating, the voices in perfect tune. She can handle unspeakable pain with the quiet authority of a Chekhov, but has an even rarer gift: she describes happiness so that we can share in it. This is a book of love.”

- Ursula K. Le Guin

“What this gifted storyteller offers on every page is an offer impossible to refuse: Come in, sit down and prepare to be beguiled. . . . Bloom dramatizes her concerns with a delicate touch. . . . One is struck especially by her seamless plotting, the way her stories flow effortless toward a conclusion that is not so much inevitable- since it may be quite startling- as fitting. . . . Bloom is the psychotherapist as alchemist, trnasmuting the messy dross of everyday life into the gold of artfully shaped fiction.”

- Dan Cryer, Newsday